January 3, 2006 – Egged Invites EcoPeace-Jordan to Ceremony


January 3, 2006

Mr. Munqeth Meyhar, Jordanian Director of EcoPeace Middle East, was invited to attend a ceremony at ‘Gesher’ – Old Bridges – Tourist Site, to celebrate the placement of the restored Cross-Border Egged Bus No. L-3.

At an event at the Old Bridges Tourist Site (located on the Jordan River, near Kibbutz Gesher), Mr. Munqeth Meyhar joined Mr. Avraham Hirshzon, Israeli Tourism Minister, Mr. Arik Feldman, of the Egged Bus. Co, Mr. Yossi Feldman, director of Buildings and Sites Restoration Council, and Ms. Yael Shaltieli, Head of the Beit She’an Valley Regional Council, in welcoming the new addition to the Old Bridges Tourist Site.

The Old Bridges Tourist Site is evidence to times when “Crossing the Jordan” was more than just a concept. This is where 3 bridges still stand intact – an old Roman Bridge of 2,000 years ago, an Ottoman Bridge with an old train carriage on top, and the most recent British Mandate bridge. The celebration of the renovation and placement of the famous Cross-Border L-3 bus to its original bus stop will enhance the Old Bridges Tourist site, and give the Cross-Border concept of the Jordan River, additional meaning.

“These bridges are of most significance to me”, said Mr. Meyhar, “as I am a neighbor from the other side of the River, and I believe that we need to strengthen our neighborly relations wherever possible. Would it not be a terrific idea to have a similar park on the other side of the River here?”

EcoPeace Middle East is a unique organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists. With offices in Amman, Bethlehem and Tel Aviv, EcoPeace’s objective is to advance both sustainable regional development and the creation of necessary conditions for lasting peace in the region.

“This site is a perfect example of what we at EcoPeace would like to see all along the Jordan River”, says Mr. Meyhar.

EcoPeace has embarked on a campaign to rehabilitate the desperate state of the Lower Jordan River. It is drying up. The waters of the Jordan are pumped and diverted further upstream almost to the point where the Lower Jordan will run dry during the summer months. Of the original 1.3 billion cubic meters of water that once flowed down the Jordan, today only 100 million cubic meters of water flows. This is a double catastrophe, for the life of the Jordan River, as well as the life – or death – of the Dead Sea.

“I am calling on the Israeli Tourism Minister to join EcoPeace’s efforts to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan River and work together in making a PEACE PARK from the Old Bridges Site, to the Peace Island. Rehabilitating this area is part of our common commitments in our Peace Treaty,” Mr. Meyhar said.

For more information, please contact Mira Edelstein 054-6392937, mira@ecopeaceme.org